For in-person access we recommend an advance registration (by e-mail, including your complete contact information) because we still aim to limit the amount of visitors at a time. Visitors will be required to wear a face mask, while not seated at their workdesks and follow the usual distance and hygiene rules.
Digital use of the archive is possible, and we continue to help researchers by mail or over the phone. That includes sending them (free of charge) excerpts from our bibliographical database on whatever subject they are working on or (for a fee) scanning material for scholarly or journalistic purposes. More details below…
We are happy that you will visit the Jazzinstitut Darmstadt for your research project. In order to make your stay here as effective as possible, we would like to give you some information about how to use our collections.
The Jazzinstitut holds a major archive with books, periodicals, correspondence, personal papers, photographs, films, recordings of all sorts and much more documenting jazz history from the beginning to the present. We will make all of the material available for your research, however, you are well advised to prepare yourself for your visit.
Our opening hours are Monday, Tuesday and Thursday from 10am to 5pm, Friday from 10am to 2pm. Usually we are open on Wednesday, however this is the day we might choose to plan external appointments. If we are present (which usually is the case), we will be happy to have you come by on Wednesdays as well. However, we cannot guarantee open Wednesdays long-term, thus you should ask us while you are here.
A major preparation would be asking us for Jazz Index excerpts on the specific subject you are researching. Our Jazz Index is a bibliographic database which covers a substantial part especially of our periodical collection, but also most of the books as well as other sources in our archive. Please send us an e-mail in advance to your visit, telling us the names of musicians or subjects you are researching and we will respond with the respective Jazz Index excerpts. Don’t forget to bring either a printout or a digital version of the Jazz Index for reference during your time here. This service is free of charge.
While we do not allow coats, jackets or bags to be taken into the archival rooms, you will be allowed to take pen and paper as well as a computer and/or a digital camera. We have a supervised area where you can store your bags and coats.
Of course, we have a xerox machine in our archive, however, we generally will make copies on demand only – so it’s us who will press the button, and you will have to pay the municipal fee of 0,25 Euro per page for any xerox copies made during your visit. With most books we can arrange a short-time lending which allows you to use the public xerox machines in a copy shop across the street, however this option does not work with any of the items in our periodical collection. If you need copies for your research, we advise you bring a digital camera. You will be allowed to make “digital notes” for research reasons; we will charge a nominal fee of 5 Euro for the use of a camera per research day. If you choose this option, please make sure to fill out the respective release form at the begin of your visit. (Please note that for an external order of scans or xerocopies we will charge a higher fee per page. If you are interested, please contact us for more information.)
Some of our resources are only available as digital files. Should you be interested in seeing them, we will provide you with a computer you can use and instruct you how to find your way through the digital archive, and how to open the material. You will not be allowed to digitally store that material; you may, though, take photographs of the screen content.
We have a large collection of recorded sound. You will be able to listen to whatever you choose. We have attached a USB drive to our sound system, thus, if you need a sound copy, make sure to bring a USB stick for these purposes. Copying music to the USB stick will only be possible in real-time; for copyright reasons we do not allow you to make copies of CDs on your computer. Here you can find a database with those of our recordings already catalogued.
Our photo collection comprises nearly 50,000 prints. This material is mostly copyrighted; if you need photos for the use of publication, we will assist you in any way possible to assure you can clear the rights. For print reasons you will have to pay an archival fee and in return receive a high-resolution scan of the respective pictures.
Much of the rarer material in our archive, such as research papers, correspondence, program leaflets and other, has not yet been indexed. We have sorted through many of the boxes, though, and will be able to point you to the boxes which might be interesting to your line of research. We will allow you free access to these boxes in a special room, and provide you with all information necessary to contextualize the content.
We will be available for further advice on your research, so make sure to ask us at one point during your visit to sit down with one of us for a general discussion of your subject. Usually a look from outside can be helpful.
If you need a hotel for your stay, we recommend either the Hotel Donnersberg or the Hotel Regina both of which are about 5 minutes from the Jazzinstitut. There are many more hotels in the city, and public transport is easy. If you need to stay here for a longer period, you might check the Darmstadt website which also lists private rooms.
Darmstadt has a lot to offer culturally. We have a major opera house, a number of museums (the Mathildenhöhe and Landesmuseum being a must) and a lively live music scene. If you are here over the weekend, chances are good that you can attend a concert at our own concert space. Otherwise Frankfurt, Mainz, Heidelberg, Mannheim or Heidelberg are all less than one hour away and easily reachable by train.
If you need any further information, please contact us. We want your stay to be as productive as possible.
We look forward to see you at the Jazzinstitut Darmstadt!
Wolfram Knauer, Doris Schröder, Arndt Weidler